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10:35 PM ET, March 16, 2020


 Top News: 
Jason Gurwin / The Streamable:
Universal Pictures to make digital rentals of some new movies now in theaters available for $20 from March 20, and upcoming Trolls World Tour on its release day  —  In light of the movie theaters being brought to a standstill, Universal Pictures is changing the game.
Rebecca Rubin / Variety:
North American box office plunged to around $55.3M this weekend, its worst weekend since sales of $54.5M from September 15 to 17 in 2000  —  Much of public life in the United States essentially ground to a halt this week.  In the entertainment world, theme parks shut down, Broadway went dark …
Hollywood Reporter:
Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie chain in the US, will close all theaters starting March 17 and will remain closed until further notice  —  The move follows a federal government recommendation for U.S. adults to avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people.
Discussion: /Film, Deadline, INSIDER, The Verge and WFLA-TV
New York Times:
As the COVID-19 outbreak discourages moviegoers and theatrical releases get delayed, the ascendancy of streaming services may be accelerating
YouTube Creator Blog:
YouTube says it will be relying more on automated systems as content moderators stay home, and creators may see fewer strikes against videos but more removals  —  Today, as the unprecedented COVID-19 situation continues, Google outlined how it's reducing the need for people to come …
Rachel Abrams / New York Times:
Inside The Seattle Times' COVID-19 coverage, as nearly all of its 58 reporters cover a pandemic affecting their neighbors and friends while trying to stay safe  —  “That's what local papers are meant to do”: The journalists at The Seattle Times have been aggressively covering the coronavirus as it affects their neighbors and friends.
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube say they're working with each other and healthcare agencies to tackle misinfo about COVID-19  —  Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube put out joint statement promising to fight COVID-19 fraud and curb misinformation.
Pete Brown / Columbia Journalism Review:
Study of 13K+ stories on News Corp's Knewz between February 4 and March 2 shows that the news aggregator frequently defaults to Murdoch titles and Daily Mail  —  Knewz, News Corp.'s recently launched news aggregator—not to be confused with the polka band of the same name—debuted with a grand promise …
The Intercept:
Leaked docs: TikTok told moderators to suppress posts from those deemed “ugly”, poor, or disabled, and censor political speech in livestreams, to attract users  —  The makers of TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing app with hundreds of millions of users around the world …
Michael Schneider / Variety:
A look at Camel Rock Studios, a New Mexico film studio owned by a Native American tribe, as it capitalizes on the state's filming boom from Netflix and others  —  Last year, the Tesuque Pueblo tribe of New Mexico opened a new casino, moving out of a 75,000-square foot facility …
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
AMC Networks says it is planning to sell ad packages that accompany its shows even when they become available on ad-supported streaming outlets like Pluto TV  —  AMC Networks wants to sell the ads that accompany “Walking Dead” on its flagship cable outlet and wherever the series' zombies might march.
Discussion: Adweek, Broadcasting & Cable and Ad Age
Manori Ravindran / Variety:
Disney Plus has partnered with O2 as its exclusive UK mobile network distributor, a week ahead of its launch  —  Disney Plus has linked with O2 as its exclusive U.K. mobile network distributor, a week ahead of its highly anticipated launch.  —  New and upgrading monthly customers to O2 …
Discussion: The Streamable
Elsa Keslassy / Variety:
French pay TV group Canal Plus says it will be free for the next few weeks or months during the country's lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak  —  French pay TV group Canal Plus will be free for the next few weeks or months during the country's lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
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 More News: 
Lata Jha / Livemint:
Discovery launches Discovery Plus in India, offering content from itself and others for ~$4 per year, available in eight languages
BBC says it will delay its plan to charge over-75s for license fees, originally set for June 1, until August 1 due to coronavirus
Javier C. Hernández / New York Times:
Chinese journalists, usually muzzled, are publicly pushing back against the government's positive coronavirus spin, buoyed by widespread calls for free speech
 Earlier Picks: 
A licensed psychotherapist weighs in on how journalists can manage the stress of nonstop COVID-19 coverage
Sources: Universal Music Group chief Lucian Grainge has been hospitalized after a positive COVID-19 test